Attention: Executives, Entrepreneurs & Millennials
Your advancement has plateaued.
Unsure what you are playing for?
Lost your focus?
Has your career progression stalled?
And you aren’t sure why?
Do you have blind spots that you can’t see but are holding you back?
Have you been overlooked for a promotion?
This means that you have to develop new skills and overcome “derailers.” Derailers are those subtle but critical behavioral characteristics that stunt an executive’s progression. These derailers are insidious because no one will tell you what they are.
If it were as easy as reading a blog post or reading a book, we would all be billionaires with abs of steel!
Consider investing in learning. The upfront costs are real and visible and, like any investment, the future payoff is uncertain. So we tend to skim the surface, thinking this will “save us time” versus doing the real work. Yet this surface-based approach leads to no improvement in our ability to achieve goals. In fact, it may harm us if we think we've learned something for real. Thus, surface learning is a true waste of time.
- not being a good listener
- not expressing gratitude
- always trying to be the smartest person in the room
- coming across as negative
- cutting people off
- using needless sarcasm
If it were so easy to address these derailers, there wouldn’t be so many executives exasperated because their careers have decelerated.
These are blind spots - meaning they are there but you can’t see them and normally no one will tell you.
Why? Because as an executive, the people around you tend to tell you want you want to hear... even when you point blank ask them not to.
They do it anyway because it is much safer for them to avoid the issue and pay you a compliment than to confront you.
You know you have to deliver on big goals but it is hard to gain traction and momentum because your energy is being depleted, your attitude is wavering and you are realizing you lack specific skills to make it to the next level.
To the outside world, you are powerful, confident and successful. You have already achieved a great deal in life. And despite your track record of success, you are ready for support to achieve a goal that feels “impossible” right now.
You have what it takes to achieve your goals. But working with a performance coach--who has two decades of experience coaching employees and executives at Fortune 500 companies--will help you achieve your goal faster, with fewer hurdles.
Coaches can see opportunities that we often can’t see for ourselves, and they can steer us around pitfalls and blind spots that would otherwise trip us up.
I’ll guide you through completing the D.R.E.A.M. Action Plan as an outline towards discovering your blind spots, strategies to overcome them, achieving your goals of career advancement, and ultimately attaining the corner office.
I will provide you with the highest level of support as you make courageous choices and make progress towards your goals.
Matthew Levy, Founder & CEO, Matthew Levy Enterprises, LLC
My Story, briefly
How many people have had a near-death experience? I had a literal near-death experience in 2014 (diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, the most aggressive of all cancers and was given 90 days to live). Like many people who have a near-death experience, it changed my outlook forever.
I thought a lot about what I missed out on in life and in my career. I procrastinated too much, I spent too long paralyzed by the fear of failure and I struggled when faced with adversity.
I had built a career working in HR for Fortune 500 companies, and I knew how many executives whose careers had decelerated, executives who were going through the motions, how many of them were checking the box and mailing it in…For them, life was just days on a calendar ticking by one after the other after the other.
When I was dying, I thought to myself, if I make it through this alive, I am going to embrace and push through my fear, deal with adversity head on and pursue my dreams.
And I am going to dedicate my work to motivating executives to find meaning in their work and in their lives, and to be fully engaged in the way they serve others and generates success for themselves. So here we are. I’m Matthew Levy, and today, we are discussing what you need to do to accomplish a big goal with which you are struggling. Not “one day,” “not tomorrow” but today. Right now.
Source: ICF Global Coaching Client Study was commissioned by the ICF but conducted independently by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
When you determine what your unique calling (and don’t tell me you don’t have a calling because we all have one; you just may not have discovered it yet), things in life and work just click and you build immense amounts of resiliency to bounce back from adversity.
Examples: “My grandmother died of breast cancer; I want to develop a cure.” “I have diabetes; I want to start a non-profit for children with diabetes.” “People are isolated, I want them to be better connected. I’m going to create a new networking organization.” “A friend helped me through a troubled time; I am going to write a book to help others through their tough times.”
We figure out what is most important to you can take some work! You may think that a calling is determined as a child, or from a one-time bolt of lightning. But that usually isn’t the case. Normally you have a clue but like a spark, it takes time and the right conditions to fan that spark into a raging fire.
Resolute means unwavering. You need to set specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable and time bound goals. Vague goals do you no good. Specific goals hold you accountable. In fact, you are 42% more likely to attain a goal by writing it down. Yet, the majority of us have vague goals in our heads but nothing concrete on paper. (It’s no wonder then that so many of you have big things that you want to accomplish “one day” but then “one day” never seems to arrive.) A research study was done to examine the importance of goal setting. The study showed that people were THREE times more likely to exercise when they wrote down where, when and how they would exercise. What is the bottom line? What pulls the desire out of you isn’t your level of motivation; it’s your plan for implementation!
What are the people, places and things that give you energy? And importantly, who are the people, places and things that drain us of energy? In order to accomplish big goals, you need to have water in your cup to fill up someone else’s cup. But if your cup is empty, you have nothing to give. Energy drainers are constantly sapping your vital and limited energy. You need to be aware of this concept and create a plan for limiting if not removing these people, places and things. You need to be intentional about this.
Other factors contribute to your energy levels. Are you injecting any fun and playfulness in your life? It’s so easy to become a “hamster on a wheel” day after day working hard in life but not feeling like you are getting anywhere. Being purposeful about fun and play can be rejuvenating.
Do you wake up everyday feeling rested and ready to go? The statistics suggest that isn’t likely. You are probably sleep deprived. You may have subscribed to the old adage that “sleep is overrated” but this myth has been debunked many times over. You have to re-prioritize to get the rest you need to be effective.
Everyday can feel like an uphill battle. Our attitude gets tested. Adversity mounts. Things don’t go as planned. Your attitude either propels you forward or drives you backwards when faced with headwinds in life. As Victor Frankl, the famed neurologist and psychiatrist and concentration camp inmate, once said, there is a space between stimulus and response. The key to life is what you do with that space. Do you accept the stimulus and deal with it? Or do you reject it and feel like a victim?
A virtuoso is many times associated with the best musicians in the world. They are known for relentless practice. The good news is that in most facets of life, you don’t have to practice for 10,000 hours to master something. In fact, Brian Tracy famously stated that “ you read one book per week, 50 books per year, that will make you one of the best educated, smartest, most capable and highest paid people in your field.” You need to apply a virtuoso mindset not only to technical skills but also to so called soft skills such as interpersonal skills, influencing skills, communication skills and writing skills to name a few.
Glenn Shiroff, Senior Executive, Print and Distribution
"You motivated me big time. Your story was inspiring and serves as a real-life example that life as we know it can change in an instant so we better make the most of our limited time on this earth. The DREAM framework is a great tool to help folks like me dream big, navigate the path and follow your lead."
To the outside world, you are powerful, confident and successful. You have already achieved a great deal in life. And despite that track record of success, you are ready for support to achieve a goal that feels out of reach right now.
You have set a goal and attained it. Set another and attained that one. Yet, things don’t come as quick and easy as they used to. That’s because as Marshall Goldsmith famously said, “what got you here won’t get you there.” See, as you find success, people around you are less likely to tell you how it really is. They start placating you; telling you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear. The things you need to hear are the derailers which are holding you back.
but self-limiting beliefs and fear of failure hold you back. You know it and still find it difficult to gain momentum on the big goals you have for yourself. As you put things off, you dig yourself a bigger hole and more doubt sets in. It is a vicious cycle that is hard to break.
You say yes to every volunteer cause, you say yes to every social event, you say yes to those closest to you and those whom you don’t even know. While it is honorable to want to please people, when you try to please everyone, you please no one. And to get big goals accomplished in life you have to have focus on the critical one or two initiatives which are the most important to you. Otherwise, those goals languish while less important tasks take up your time, time which is finite. People pleasers think saying “no” is going to disappoint the person asking. Ironically, not only is it going to not disappoint, if handled properly, you will actually gain the respect of the requestor. I know about People Pleasers because I am one.
Accuracy is your organizing principle. Your work product isn’t delivered until it is perfect. Scientists, engineers, IT professionals and accountants many times fall into this category. While you have great skills, overuse of them holds you back. You aren’t aware of it but you intimidate others. You may come across as interrogating when to you it’s just a debate. In your pursuit of perfection, you have trouble making decisions. You may lack charismatic skills which are expected of leaders.